King Pharandros of Tarsh has been on throne for 15 years in 1625. Educated in Glamour and Syllila, Pharandros is culturally a Lunar Heartlander. The son of the famed Lunar magician and polymath, King Moirades, who ruled for over 30 years, and grandson of the heroic King Phargentes One-Arm, who ruled a quarter-century, Pharandros suffers somewhat in comparison to the deeds of his ancestors. He is a generous patron of the Lunar University of the Provinces, and has recruited famed scholars and artists from far and wide. He has sponsored the construction of many grand buildings, including the Moirasseum, expansions of the royal palace, and building many shrines, monuments, and temples.
Pharandros has two half-siblings – Inkarne, who is the newly acclaimed Feathered Horse Queen, and Phargentes, the teenaged son of King Moirades and Jar-eel (from the union in 1610 which killed Moiraides). Neither live in Furthest.
The bulwark of the Lunar Dynasty in Tarsh has been the Orindori clan. Vostor Blacktooth was right-hand of King Phargentes, and a general of the Lunar Army, who fought at Grizzly Peak. Vostor grew up in the Lunar Heartlands, in the household of the exiled princes, Philigos and Phargentes. Vostor was 24 when the Empire re-invaded Tarsh, and he commanded a cavalry contingent in the fight, showing himself to be clever, confident, and competent.
Though Philigos was slain, Phargentes made a brilliant recovery, slew Palashee, and became king himself. The year was 1556. Vostor was rewarded with Dunstop and most of Kordros Island.
Vostor had four sons and one daughter by two wives. They were all loyal and brave. The brothers all became Lunar soldiers who fought often for their king. The eldest son, Farrad, died at age 28 in the Battle of Grizzley Peak (1582) which smashed the Sartar army. The second son, Goslem, died at age 23 in the Battle of Bagnot (also 1582), when he acted rashly and attacked too soon. The third son was Wassail. He was quick to rise in the priesthood and helped Phargentes arrange the difficult magic which helped kill Sartar prince Terasarin in 1600. Fazzur was the youngest son, born in 1564. He was a gifted child and a talented soldier, receiving his commission early. Vostos’ last child, a daughter, was born in 1568 and was named Harsta. She was a proud and haughty noblewoman, and wed the son of King Phargentes – Moirades – and was the mother of Pharandros.
Fazzur was the dominant figure in Pharandros’ court, becoming a Lunar General, and later Imperial Governor-General of Dragon Pass. He was never much of a “politician” but served his nephew ably and loyally. Fazzur was removed from his imperial offices by the Red Emperor in 1621, and was replaced with Tatius the Bright, from a Raibanth noble house closely tied to the Red Emperor and his court.
Fazzur has two sons, Onjur and Annstad, and unlike their father, both regularly clash with their royal cousin. Both are learned men, greatly gifted in mind and body, and talented soldiers like their father. Onjur led the defense of Tarsh against a major Tusk Rider raid, killing their leader in personal combat. In Furthest, Annstad was notorious mainly for seducing priestesses and married women, and for his good looks and sybaritic lifestyle. He surprised all by initiating to Orlanth Thunderous at Kero Fin in 1625.
In recent years, the king has increasingly viewed Fazzur, and more importantly his children, as a growing threat. The Dragonrise and rebellion of Sartar has greatly contributed to the king’s paranoia, and when the King begged Fazzur to come out of retirement after the Dragonrise, the speed by which Fazzur gathered an army loyal to him terrified the royal court in Furthest. While Fazzur fought at Dangerford, Pharandros had several allies of the Orindori convicted on charges of treason.
Although Fazzur is still outwardly loyal and dutiful, his sons are in open disobedience to the king, seeking allies and fomenting trouble.
In 1625, King Pharandros is 43 years old. He is skilled with weapons, a Red Goddess initiate, is erudite, learned, and a skilled military captain. He is also reckless, paranoid, and unprincipled.
Pharandros is married to a noble woman from the Lunar Heartlands. Together they have three children. If I recall, they were married in 1602 in a ceremony overseen by the Red Emperor himself!
I imagine that Pharandros became a Lunar priest as a teenager and his father assigned him tutors and guides that had him Illuminated at an early age.
This is probably a pretty common story for the children of high ranking Lunar nobles such as satraps and important provincial kings – and Tarsh is comparable in wealth and power to a lesser Heartland satrapy (such as Doblian, Karasal, or Oraya).
Is Seven Mothers the most common cult for nobles in Lunar Tarsh that are loyal to the Empire? definitely. Although Hon-eel is pretty important as well.
One thing about Lunar Tarsh is that the Lunar population is overwhelmingly in Furthest and its environs. The city of Furthest, with less than 3% of the total population has 11% of the entire Seven Mothers cult and about the same percentage of the entire Hon-eel cult.
For the decade before the Dragonrise, the most famous humans in Dragon Pass were probably King Pharandros and Fazzur Wideread, followed by the Feathered Horse Queen and Sir Ethilrist. Prince Temertain was pretty much just installed in Boldhome to keep the Sartarite tribes happy and allow an end to Starbrow’s Rebellion.
Would initiation to an enemy god imperil Anstad’s Imperial citizenship and noble titles? Annstad is also a Red Goddess initiate…